The First Principles Of Pianoforte Playing

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Such movement down upon the key, and the true act of touch, subsequent to it, may take the form of a single and continuous motion; the required extra force being added as the finger-tip touches the key. Or, the key may also be reached at any convenient moment previously to this, in which case touch-movement will begin at the key-surface.
§ 56. The inflections of Duration beyond and below Legato, and Staccatissimo, are details of Touch which you must pres­ently acquire. Some additional information is therefore nec­essary:—
There is an "artificial" mode of holding down notes, which is more convenient for certain passages than the natural Legato element (the heavier Resting) discussed in § 16, etc.
By giving a very slight but continuous exertion of the finger and hand (or the finger alone) you can produce a slight tension or " pressure" upon the key-beds; this will enable you to hold down notes thus pressed upon at your Will,—independently there­fore of the Resting-weight. This "Pressure-legato element" you can apply either in addition to the Legato-resting, or also in addition to the Staccato-resting. The resulting effects will be thus:—
a)  Pressure applied in addition to the Legato-resting, may be used for all inflections of Duration beyond Legato, up to the extremest Legatissimo.
b)  Pressure applied in addition to the Staccato-resting may be used for all inflections of Duration below the full Tenuto (or Legato) down to Staccato,—when of course it must be completely absent. So-called "Portamento-touch" can also be executed by means of this "pressure-legato," but it requires in addition a tone-production by "Weight-initiative"—§44, etc.
In slow successions of notes it is best to obtain both super-
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